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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Give me back my goddam Playstation!

Customer (dis)Service in this country sucks huge, fermenting, odious, odiferous, egg-shaped piles. We all know it, but we all just put up with it. Why? Because if we make a fuss it doesn’t achieve anything more significant that contributing to our own stress levels.

About a month ago I bought myself a brand-spanking, shiny new Sony Playstation 2. Excellent. Hide, Zara and I had many hours of fun playing Tekken 4 (the only game I bought at the time) until after about two weeks the console decided to stop reading disks.

I was annoyed, but not particularly upset. I know this happens sometimes with new tech-gadgets. It came with a sticker for I-CSS: a company which apparently services the warranties for all Playstation hardware in South Africa. I called them and dropped off my defective console at their service centre in Midrand.

They told me they would most likely swap it out since it was so new. It would only take three to four days to verify that it was indeed faulty (the ID10T error check), then they would give me a new one. Having worked in a swap-out center myself, I’m familiar with the processes involved, so I was satisfied with that… even if it meant living without Tekken for a few days.

That was on a Tuesday.

I decided to be lenient, so I didn’t bother calling them again until the Friday, by which time it was certain to be ready. They told me they were waiting for parts. I thought it was a little odd that they would need parts for a device they weren’t going to fix, but I figured that maybe they’d decided to repair it after all… that’s their prerogative, I suppose. So I accepted it and carried on.

The next Tuesday I called again. A week was more than enough time. It still wasn’t ready. This time the story was they were waiting for swap-out stock to arrive. It had apparently been ordered and was on its way. (Now they were going to swap it out? I suppose it’s plausible that the service agent I’d spoken to on the Friday has misinterpreted the information on his screen as “parts” instead of “swap-out stock”… the two look so similar). They said it takes one to two weeks to arrive. Some lightning-fast mental arithmetic lead me to conclude that it should be arriving any day, at the latest the Tuesday after that (two weeks from when I dropped it off).

Again I decided to be lenient. I waited a whole week before calling them again, hoping that they would be calling me any time. One week after that second Tuesday, about half an hour ago, I gave them another call.

You guessed it: it hasn’t arrived yet. I threw my toys. It didn’t help. My rage was deflected by an impenetrable force-barrier of stupidity, ignorance and apathy. Typical of South African customer service.

For the one month period that I have been the owner of a PS2, I have actually had it in my possession for half that time. And it’s Christmas this weekend (or as I am starting to consider calling it: Non-religious-specific Day When People Give Each Other Presents)… I want to play with my goddam Playstation!

So I’m resolved to be an asshole about it.

I am going to call I-CSS every day from now on, and every day I will ask to speak to a higher level of management, and I will throw my toys at each one until someone gives me my goddam Playstation!

My lack of tolerance for customer service has been exacerbated by the ordeal Hide is currently going through with her goddam insurance idiots and the brain-donors down at the JMPD. But I’ll let her tell that story.

I-CSS will face the wrath if they don’t give me my goddam Playstation.